She’s got a tough act to follow after her predecessor won a top award last week but Berwick’s new Artist in Residence is keen to make her mark.
Katie Davies has made the move from Bristol to Berwick to take the reins from Cecilia Stenbom who was named Visual Artist of the Year at the recent Journal Culture Awards.
Just like Cecilia did last year, Katie has a brief of delivering a film to open this year’s Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in September.
The event’s theme for 2014 is ‘Crossing Borders’ and that is exactly what Katie hopes to explore in her piece which she will begin production on shortly.
The film festival will launch on the same day Scotland goes to the polls for the much talked about independence vote, but Katie said what she was struck by was how little Berwick people seem fazed by the subject.
“With a lot of people in the situation where they live in England but work in Scotland and the repercussions independence could have on their journey every day, I assumed people would be ardently for or against it but so far the general feeling is very indifferent.
“A lot of people have just said that is the Berwick way of things and also that people see themselves as belonging to the town rather than a region or country.”
Although she is now living in a border town, Katie is no stranger to borders; it’s a theme that has been a big part of her artistic work for a number of years.
She recently completed a Phd. in ‘Britain’s Sovereignty &Its Borders’ and has also produced documentary style films on the Korean border and its de-militarised zone, British citizenship ceremonies in Sheffield and repatriation ceremonies in Wooton Bassett.
When asked to describe her art and her aims for Berwick, Katie said: ”I’m a visual artist and film maker interested in making a film that will document Berwick in this particular moment in time.”
To give residents an opportunity to see what she’s about and her motivations for the project and see some of her work Katie is hosting a talk at The Maltings on Wednesday, May 7.
If you have any questions for her in the meantime email firstname.lastname@example.org.